Chandrayaan 2 mission was first approved by the government of India on 18th September 2008. Since then the Indian space research organization has been working towards this goal. After many delays and technical difficulties, ISRO was successful in launching Chandrayaan 2 on 22nd July 2019. This is the first picture of the moon taken by Chandrayaan 2 camera on 21st August 2019 after it entered the lunar orbit.
I was up late at the time of landing of Vikram on 7th September. Earlier on 2nd September Vikram got separated from the orbiter. The most specific feature of this mission was the soft landing that would be achieved by Vikram when it lands on the surface of the moon.
I was watching the action live when just a few minutes were left in the landing. On my bed, when I was watching this live online, I was not alone. With me was my entire country waiting to witness history being made in front of us. All we desired to witness was the confirmation of the landing of Vikram. A few minutes and around 2 km above the moon’s surface we lost the communication from Vikram. I was heartbroken. I am sure the whole country was heartbroken. It was a strange feeling. I felt like Vikram is lost somewhere on the surface of the moon and now we could never communicate with it. I was heartbroken when I saw the faces of the ISRO team. They were trying to keep it calm but the disappointment was clearly seen on their faces.
I switched off my phone and I slept. In the morning when I woke up and read the news it all hit me back. I realized that if that news was so devastating for me then how would the scientists who worked tirelessly for days and nights for the last 11 years take this setback. Vikram was like their child and now they can’t communicate with it. I was reading the news the entire day to see what is going on all around. I could see the whole nation stand as one in support of ISRO. Though we lost contact with Vikram but it brought all of us together. By the end of the day, we were one country that despite so many differences were standing united with ISRO.
Even after this feeling of unity and pride within me, I was sad. I was not able to take my mind away from the ISRO scientists and their mission. I could feel how big a blow It would have been for them. They nurtured this dream for years and before the final step they lost the communication. In between these thoughts, I read a statement from ISRO chairman K Sivan saying that we have still got 14 days to establish communication with Vikram and we will try our best to find out its exact location. The next day they were able to locate Vikram on the surface of the moon. The whole team had now got 11 days to establish communication. They are all determined to keep trying.
I was not sad now. I was hopeful. The communication with Vikram may or may not happen, but what ISRO did was something that hit me from within. Science and experimentation afterall include trying and hoping for the best outcome. I am a proud citizen of this country which has great scientists and motivators running the best space organization in the world, ISRO.